OKAHUMPKA — One of Lake County’s leading “clean-tech” industries, Covanta Lake of Okahumpka, received a William C. Schwartz Innovation Award last week at a Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission (EDC) luncheon held in Lake Mary.
“Covanta Lake has emerged as the world’s premier provider of energy-from-waste,” said Teri Staniec, Business Manager of Covanta Lake. “We provide sustainable solid-waste solutions and renewable energy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
Covanta Lake’s waste-from-energy incinerator began commercial operation in March 1991. The facility processes a total of 528 tons-per-day of solid waste while generating up to 14.5 megawatts of renewable energy that is sold to Progress Energy. Since startup, the Lake facility has processed 2.8 tons of solid waste.
The energy-from-waste facility is a green operation. It extracts all available energy from solid waste while recovering metals. The leftover ash from the facility occupies 90 percent less landfill space than traditional solid waste disposal. In addition, the energy-from-waste facility decreases dependence on fossil fuel power plants and related carbon-dioxide emissions; reduces long-haul truck traffic to distant landfills; reduces mining operations, as collected ferrous metals are recycled; and eliminates methane emissions from landfills.
“I want to compliment Covanta Lake for its continuing work to enhance Lake County’s environment,” said Lake County Commissioner Jennifer Hill. “In Lake County, we need to take advantage of these green innovations to make the community’s economy stronger.”
In February, the Lake County Board of County Commissioners adopted an economic strategic plan for the County. The plan identifies industries the County should target and outlines an action plan. The plan identifies target industry sectors that Lake County should try to attract, including, Health & Wellness, Clean Tech, Agritech, Business Services and Arts, Recreation & Leisure.
“Lake County needs more companies like Covanta Lake,” said Dottie Keedy, Director of the Lake County Department of Economic Growth & Redevelopment. “Companies that are deploying an innovative technology and are producing unique products are the ones that are not only surviving, but are thriving in this weakened economy.”
For more information about economic development in Lake County, call the Lake County Department of Economic Growth & Redevelopment at (352) 343-9866.